Monthly Archives: June 2017

Healthcare? We Do Not Care: Blood from a Turnip

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radical eyes for equity

Over the past two weeks, my mother had a stroke and resides now in a rehabilitation facility, and my father died sitting beside her over this weekend, after deteriorating for months because of a failing heart.

My family has been experiencing the nightmare that is the consequence of living in a nation that worships money above all else: being sick and dying in the U.S. remains a financial disaster.

We in the U.S. have purposefully and willfully monetized illness and death.

While my mother was in the hospital, she needed her IV changed, but the floor nurse on duty was having trouble with the new placement. She called in the head nurse, who asked me about the care my mother was receiving at the hospital.

I eagerly praised the nurses, doctors, and staff—all of whom had been wonderful, and it is no hyperbole, they literally saved my mother’s life.

I…

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Democratic Party to Re-Elect Trump?

Look at the actions of the Democratic Party. This party is on course to allow the Republican majority to continue uninterrupted. How can I write this statement? Because the Democratic Party is unable to let go of its old Clinton/Sanders style arguments or even to frame a logical statement identifying Democratic Party values.
Exactly what does the Democratic Party represent? Since the election of Donald trump, the Democrats are following an old adage and allowing Trump to dig a deeper hole. However, the underlying weakness of operating without a coherent identity is disabling the Democratic Party. The Republican Party stands for low taxes, few regulations and guns. The Democrats stand for what? Where is the messaging and the continuity of message?
State and local governments decayed into Republican majorities. As Pennsylvania State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski frustratingly related to me; Democrats do not have set talking points. He said; “Ask a Republican how the weather is and you will receive a reply enumerating the horrors of Obamacare and the joys of small government.” The Democratic Party lacks that message consistency.
Representative Pashinski’s passion is healthcare. This passion developed from voter encounters across the region and state. Eddie said; “Wherever I go, I see Democratic, Republican and Independent voters very concerned about affording Healthcare coverage. The issue obsesses many, many citizens.” Now, no matter the venue, Representative Pashinski talks about the need for affordable healthcare coverage for all. Then Eddie makes a two sentence statement that incorporates what should be the Democratic Party message and mantra.

“Before we begin, there are two vital components of the solution that must be established and agreed to before any serious and long-lasting improvements can be made. These two components are the outrageous cost of health care and the total disregard for the moral element, meaning the welfare and life of the patient.”

Mr. Pashinski calls for restoration of the moral element in healthcare and other policy proposals and discussions. So too do the vast majority of Americans.
This moral element consideration resonates for the majority of American citizens including rural and metropolitan America. Is it fair; is it just? A key element of every religion and ingrained in most of humanity is the golden rule to treat others as you would have them treat yourself. The US Constitution preamble incorporates moral goals:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Both political parties lost their way, forgetting the founders’ reasons for forming this nation. Donald Trump painfully reminded them, and the world, how vulnerable they had become when he offered voters a populist message pretending that he would address the unfairness rampant in society.
Trump promised cheaper and better HealthCare coverage for more people, higher wages and better jobs, along with vast programs rebuilding long neglected infrastructure. He would make America great again by essentially restoring the moral element to government enshrined in the Constitution and much of this country’s history. It was all untrue but many American voters already in pain from low or no wages, a rapidly changing demographic and crumbling infrastructure thought it was worth the chance.
The Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton stood by the upper middle class and essentially ignored rural and poorer regions. Hillary Clinton ran for the status quo which many Americans thought offered neither morality nor change. Joan Chittister rightly identifies a “pathological individualism” infecting the body politic.

“Even a sense of the purpose of government is under fire and open to question now. At one time, the purpose of American government was seen to be a commitment to the common good, nobody excluded. Then, it became a commitment to party principles, all other principles in doubt. Now it is commitment to “America first,” a blatant call for global narcissism. And that came in the face of 200 years of presidential inaugural addresses that pledged the United States to be the good Samaritan, the new Zion or a light to the nations.”

If the Democratic Party is to succeed and to rescue the nation and the world from chaos, they must offer all Americans a moral element. Promise and deliver what actually elected Trump – a hunger for justice and fairness. Trump may be a buffoon but his promises to working America offered an element of sense that Trump long ago forgot.
Speaking to people throughout the US online and in person, here are a few comments from people:

If a corporation does not exist to improve society, it harms it.
It is wrong to bankrupt people for healthcare.
It is wrong to deny service to poor or rural areas.
It is wrong to saddle massive debt on students gaining skills desperately needed by society.
It is wrong to allow corporations to impoverish their workers.
It is wrong to not improve society and to not pay taxes.

The ‘hooray for me the hell with you’ mindset that kicks the poorest among us and denies workers even enough to eat runs in both parties. The Democratic Party, especially at the state and local level, often embraced this poison. Lower taxes, low wages, lack of investment in people or things all these actions sucked the life out of the nation and they still destroy its vitality.
The American people are crying for a mission. The Democratic Party can restore pride in politics and give Americans confidence in being treated fairly and working to rebuild and expand their future. Americans do not want to cower behind walls.